Poem of the day

Walden
by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

In my garden three ways meet,
⁠Thrice the spot is blest;
Hermit-thrush comes there to build,
⁠Carrier-doves to nest.

There broad-armed oaks, the copses’ maze,
⁠ The cold sea-wind detain;
Here sultry Summer overstays
⁠ When Autumn chills the plain.

Self-sown my stately garden grows;
⁠The winds and wind-blown seed,
Cold April rain and colder snows
⁠ My hedges plant and feed.

From mountains far and valleys near
⁠The harvests sown to-day
Thrive in all weathers without fear,—
⁠ Wild planters, plant away!

In cities high the careful crowds
⁠Of woe-worn mortals darkling go,
But in these sunny solitudes
⁠My quiet roses blow.

Methought the sky looked scornful down
⁠ On all was base in man,
And airy tongues did taunt the town,
‘Achieve our peace who can!’

What need I holier dew
⁠ Than Walden’s haunted wave,
Distilled from heaven’s alembic blue,
⁠ Steeped in each forest cave?

If Thought unlock her mysteries,
⁠If Friendship on me smile,
I walk in marble galleries,
⁠I talk with kings the while.

How drearily in College hall
⁠The Doctor stretched the hours,
But in each pause we heard the call
⁠ Of robins out of doors.

The air is wise, the wind thinks well,
⁠And all through which it blows,
If plants or brain, if egg or shell,
⁠Or bird or biped knows;

And oft at home ‘mid tasks I heed,
⁠ I heed how wears the day;
We must not halt while fiercely speed
⁠The spans of life away.

What boots it here of Thebes or Rome
⁠Or lands of Eastern day?
In forests I am still at home
⁠And there I cannot stray.

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